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16 month old waking at night

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  • 16 month old waking at night

    I know, I know, typical and manageable, but lately she's been waking at night smiling and happy and wanting to play. Usually she wakes around 1 and have typically gotten her back to sleep between 5:30 and 6. I'm certainly not getting enough sleep, how can she be? Any ideas? She sleeps with us and on a normal night she wakes a few times to nurse. When she wakes like this she sometimes acts like she'll nurse but she just plays and bites on my nipple. We've tried my husband rocking her to sleep, ignoring her (she just plays with our bodies and the covers happily, but we don't get much sleep), changing her diaper... we've dressed her warmer and colder... She seems to just stay awake no matter what we do until around 5:30, and then goes to sleep fairly well by rocking or nursing (in a rocking chair).

    She usually goes to bed between 8 and 9 (okay, we're not very good at a schedule, we just go with the flow with our kids), on bad nights she wakes up for the day at about 9:30, and she takes a 2-2.5 hour nap.

    Help. Help. Help.


  • #2
    Oh yes....been there and it's tiring! Maybe not so much for the child, since they catch up on sleep throughout the daytime, but was tiring for me. Zzzzzz....

    At the same age, my daughter would wake up for about 2-3 hours a night. And just like yours, she'd play with our covers or our bodies even when we were trying to fake that we were asleep. That whole faking thing didn't work at all for us! LOL

    I made up sleep by napping with her throughout the day.

    I'm really hoping my son just skips this phase all together Because daytime napping went out the window for me when I went from one to two children. LOL

    I was going to suggest a later bedtime, but you are there already. So, waiting to hear what others say!

    I'm so much help, huh?


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply, at least I know I'm not alone. She's baby number 2, and number one doesn't nap anymore. Ugh.



      • #4
        That sounds really frustrating! Our daughter, also 16 months, will sometimes wake up and be awake, but it's thankfully been rare and she has always gone back to sleep after awhile - not 4 hrs! Just staying quiet and keeping the room dark and making sure she's comfortable (new diaper, more or less clothes, etc) is what has worked for us. And just asking her to lay down over and over. She'll play nurse, too, but when she's really ready to go back to sleep she'll nurse for real.

        Actually, expressing my frustration and telling her that I don't want her to nurse anymore because she's just play nursing and I'm tired usually works. She expresses protest (uhh!) when I say I don't want her to nurse. Eventually she asks for milk with her sign, and I ask if she really wants milk and she nods yes. Then, she usually nurses for real and goes back to sleep.

        I wonder how she would do if you provided a safe place for her to play, like maybe a pack-and-play in your room with a couple of safe toys in it? I don't know...

        Good luck to you! I hope you get some rest.


        • #5
          could be teething troubles

          Just a thought... but it may be her teeth. I know it causes a lot of nightwaking in children especially at her age (it did for our son too, but he would cry out or just be sleeping restlessly and not wake up to play). However, she could be cutting some major teeth like molars, etc. that will affect how she sleeps. Have you tried Hyland's Teething Tabs? They are completely natural, and they are working WONDERFULLY for our son. They just help to soothe the pain associated with teething allowing them to get the sleep they need that their teething troubles are depriving them of. I was skeptical at first since we still so avidly nurse (he is 19 months old), but I talked to ALL of my friends who have breastfed to see if it caused their children to not night nurse (which I didn't want it to take away from the milk he gets at night... as I know from literature that it can be a lot of their daily milk supply- up to 25%), and they all said that it didn't have any affect on their nursing but that it just helped their children actually "rest" better. Hope they help. You can buy them at Wal-Mart and other stores. You can even get them online at


          • #6
            Ds went through the same thing at about that age (he's 19 months now) it only lasted a few months, from about 15 months to about 17 or so. Some nights he would just be up and ready to go play, and there was just no settling him down until he was ready to go back to sleep. Some mornings he would be up at 3 or 3:30 and never went back to sleep! those days were hard. It could have been his teeth, he was getting some in around that time, I don't know for sure. I just tried to keep the room dark and quiet when he would wake up so it wouldn't be fun to try to play, and he would eventually go back down. After a couple of weeks the periods he was awake for got shorter and shorter until he was sleeping good again.

            Good luck, I know it's so hard to be so short on sleep!


            • #7
              I have a son who is 16 months also.

              He wakes up in the middle of the night to play occasionally. We've found that (for us) he did this when he needs more daddy time. We find it has helped us to be very clear about when daddy will be leaving again (for example, daddy will/won't be in bed when you wake up) so he doesn't need to make up for lost time in the middle of the night. We've noticed his nightwakings slow down when he gets adequate daddy time and is well informed about daddy's schedule.

              Do you think there could be any underlying issues like that for your daughter?


              • #8
                Milestones (and teeth) are common causes of nightwaking. If she is learning something new (could be anything), it could be causing her to wake up because she is excited about it. This could be anything (talking, walking, running, climbing, etc.)

                Good luck...some moms have given you some good advice already. Sending sleep vibes your way....


                • #9
                  My daughter is 19 months now...we went through the same thing. I poked around on google and it just seems to be the age. She is over it now and sleeps fairly well. It was exhausting for me, single Mom, but we got through it. "This to shall pass" it is up to you how you react to it but it will pass. I surrendered and played with her for a while, then would close the child proofed bedroom door (both of us behind it) turn on the night light and dose off until she was ready to come to bed. It stopped around 17.5 months. Hope that helps.